previews\ Feb 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Alan Wake A Psychological Action Thriller - 360 - Preview 2

Remedy Entertainment was finally ready to provide hands-on time with Alan Wake at X10 and GameZone was there to be among the few allowed to see their baby in action. Our final impressions: “Holy Cow Batman!” It’s that darn good …

Let us be the first to say that the long-awaited release of Alan Wake is going to be fully worth it. The suspense and thrilling action behind the title was clear from start to finish. There was never a moment where I questioned the tension that was building up or the dynamics behind the action. Alan Wake truly was gripping and continued to provide new delights in every scene.

Behold the majesty of Alan Wake

Starting out, we were (along with many of our media brethren) required to sit through a 17-minute demonstration of the title to understand the nature of the storyline. Once the developers were done showing us controls, the basics of the storyline, the gorgeous cinematics, and getting us familiar with the protagonist who the title is appropriately named after, we were allowed to play two levels of the Xbox 360-exclusive title.

The first half of the demo consisted of a trek through a dark forest to reach the gas station ahead to call for help. Along the way, Wake must combat dark creatures and a villain of sorts from the forest that move among the shadows to consume Wake. To take down the enemies that were sporadically attacking Wake, we had to use Wake’s trust flashlight and a revolver. The enemies are prone to attacks after a beam of light catches them in a daze, so it’s best to combine both assets of Wake to their best ability – especially since ammunition is limited.

Should you stop to smell the roses, you’ll see the beauty that lies within

The most astonishing segment of the first half was when an invisible evil took the form of a farming tractor and went berserk on Wake as we were in a trailer calling for help. We’ll spare everyone spoilers so they can experience it for themselves, but this scene helped enforce the belief that Alan Wake will be a memorable experience from start to finish.

To close off the first demo, we were able to call the police to come to our aid. After explaining the situation and finding out the truth about the villain that was playing predator in the forest, Wake was whisked away to see a stunning revelation that, no doubt, changes his perception of reality as his fictional stories are undoubtedly coming true.

The second portion of the demo was used to show off the action of Alan Wake. Fighting off enemies from the set of a concert stage, Wake must protect the life of his friend with the wide variety of weapons at his disposal. Among the many weapons that were available to Wake were: flashbang grenades, flares, a high-powered flashlight, and several others.

Always expect the strange to occur

While the enemies did come in numbers, the amount of flash bangs and flares provided were more than enough to overcome the odds. I would throw flares at each end of the stage and chuck a flashbang or two into the darkness to keep them from advancing too close to the stage. Many times Wake’s comic of a friend would provide a spotlight for Wake to stand in and be saved from any harm. So all in all, the second half of the demo was a little underwhelming in comparison to the first demo, but Remedy Entertainment got their point across – the action doesn’t exactly play second fiddle to the suspenseful thrills of the storyline.

Alan Wake is now set for a May 18 US release and a May 21 release in Europe. The PC version was also announced to be canceled, so the Xbox 360 iteration is the only one in development at this time.

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